The darker the food, the higher the antioxidant level. Blueberries, plums, and purple grapes, as well as other purple and dark blue fruits and vegetables have been found to reduce the risk for high blood pressure and improve HDL cholesterol levels. (the “good” kind) People who eat them regularly are also less likely to be overweight.
In addition, we now know that spinach and avocado are foods that should be added to your everyday staples to help fight belly fat. Along with my best friend, olive, they help maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.
Avocados Once the enemy due to it’s high fat content. Over half of it’s fat is oleic acid which has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease. The other fats in an avocado provide anti-inflammatory benefits. These properties combined with antioxidants work to help prevent cancer.
Olives One of my new favorite things and so many varieties to choose from. Like avocados, olives are a high fat food. But that should no longer scare you. Olives contain dozens of health protective nutrients. Hydroxytyrosol has been linked to cancer prevention and may also help prevent bone loss. Like avocados, olives are associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
Spinach A nutrient dense food, spinach is good for a healthy cardiovascular system by helping to lower blood pressure, as well as maintaining brain function and memory. Spinach has more than a dozen compounds that act as anti-inflammatories, in addition to helping with cancer prevention. This dark leafy green is vital for maintaining the strength and density of our bones and is a powerful weapon in guarding our gastrointestinal health.
Try a delicious smoothie made with unsweetened, frozen, organic blueberries, pomegranate juice and plain Greek yogurt. Most Greek yogurt contains twice the protein of regular yogurt, but that doesn’t mean that every brand is created equal. Greek yogurt gets its thick consistency and higher protein count through the straining process. Many brands skip that process and simply add thickening agents such as modified corn starch, carrageenan, or guar gum. They may also add protein-enhancing ingredients like milk protein or whey concentrates to mimic the rich texture and protein content. By checking labels, you can avoid yogurt made with cornstarch or milk protein concentrates.